Power Rankings: Week 22

Power Rankings: Week 22

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for our weekly Power Rankings. Using multiple variables we score teams out of 100 and rank them accordingly so you know who the contenders are, who the pretenders are and which way teams are trending. Forget polling a bunch of people, our scientific approach will have you impressing your friends when you tell them who’s moving up and who’s destined to fall.

#1 Tampa Bay Lightning

Did you expect anyone else here? We all know Tampa’s got first place on lock, so we’ll move on to spare you the time.

#2 Boston Bruins

The Bruins shoot up to best of the rest as the Super Computer has no choice but to reward their outstanding 18-game point streak. They haven’t lost in regulation since before the All-Star break and they’re establishing themselves as the Lightning’s biggest threat in the East, if not the league. And that’s with David Pastrnak sidelined for the last month.

#3 Calgary Flames

It was a week to forget for the Flames. They lost all four games, with just five goals spread through them, including a shutout loss against the Coyotes, the only non-playoff team they faced this week. I guess this balances out the seven-game win streak that came just before. They’re still leading the Western Conference, but this is one more missed occasion to put some distance between them and the Sharks.

#4 San Jose Sharks

While the Flames were busy losing games, the Sharks seized the opportunity and rattled off three straight Ws this week to climb within one point of Calgary. That point right now is the difference between facing Vegas or Minnesota in the first round, so you can be sure the Sharks will be hungry to claim the top spot.

#5 Toronto Maple Leafs

The Super Computer agrees with the standings on the Leafs, both placing them 5th. A convincing 6-2 win against the Flames with a hat trick from Tyler Ennis of all people was the highlight of their week and the only reason they fell a spot is because of the surging Bruins, their likely round one matchup. Their key upcoming matchup is a game against the Lightning in Tampa, which will be a great test for Toronto. Oh, and Marner’s defensive play has also turned some head, enough for him to be in the fringe Selke conversation.

#6 Vegas Golden Knights

It’s five wins in a row for the Knights, but the schedule ahead isn’t very friendly. Seven of their next 11 games are against teams currently in playoff position. They do have a nice 8-point cushion on the Coyotes in 9th place, so they’re likely to get San Jose or Calgary in round one, depending on who finishes 2nd in the Pacific.

#7 Pittsburgh Penguins

With three straight wins, Pittsburgh has taken hold of third in the Metro, but the Pens are in a four-way race for three available playoff spots. The Super Computer has been high on them all season and it continues to rank them as the favorites to make it among the bottom of the East.

#8 Nashville Predators

Nashville squeaked a pair of extra time wins against the Wild, but a loss to the Jets in what was essentially a four-point game really hurts in the battle for the lead of the Central. They’re still ahead for now, but Winnipeg has closed the gap to just a single point with a massive three games in hand. They might be leading, but they’re clearly on the back foot right now.

#9 St. Louis Blues

After a white-hot stretch of play, the Blues have cooled off a bit. They’ve already matched their loss total from February, but considering they lost twice all month, it’s not something to really worry about. They’re four points ahead of the last wild card, but also four points off second in the Central, so they could go either way. If Jordan Binnington keeps up his play, bet on things heading up.

#10 New York Islanders

The Isles missed their chance to solidify the division lead with a loss to the Capitals, leaving the two rivals tied atop the Division. That’s enough for a bump down, but the Super Computer leaves them in the top 10, tied in our points system with Washington.

#11 Washington Capitals

As we just mentioned, Washington was able to close the gap to the Islanders in a big way this week. They’re tied in point in the standings and our Rankings and have the exact same record. It’s going to be a very interesting 15-game sprint to the end in the Metro.

#12 Winnipeg Jets

The Jets move down once again, but they have an ace up their sleeve no one else has. They’re the only team in the Western Conference to have played fewer than 67 games and they have a massive three games in hand on Nashville and are just a single point back of their division rivals. The coming weeks could see them jump up the Rankings as they catch up in games played with the rest of the league.

#13 Carolina Hurricanes

Just like the Jets, the Hurricanes have played just 66 games, the fewest in the Eastern Conference. They’ve been on a heater with just a single regulation loss in their last ten games, but they will face a real test starting tonight, with back-to-back games against the Jets and Predators. Their showing in those games will tell a lot about what this team really is.

#14 Montreal Canadiens

Carey Price is back to his usual self for Montreal and is a big reason why the Habs are in the hunt, but his usage has to raise a few eyebrows going forward. Unfortunately, Montreal can’t afford to rest him, as Antti Niemi has been the league’s worst backup this season. With the margin of error basically non-existent in the East playoff race, it looks like the Canadiens’ season rests on Price’s shoulder, for better or worse.

#15 Minnesota Wild

We thought the Wild has their sights set on next year after the deadline, but they went ahead and beat the Flames before forcing the Predators to overtime twice in a row. Newly acquired Kevin Fiala capped the week off with his best game of the season against his former team in Nashville, scoring a pair of goals. This Wild team will not go down without a fight.

#16 Colorado Avalanche

The West playoff race is trying to give the Avs every chance in the world to make it, but Colorado just can’t seem to string together any stretch of consistent play. They’re a respectable 6-3-1 in their last ten games, but with a four-point deficit to make up and the season dwindling down, they will have to find some of that early-season magic to get a wild card spot.

#17 Columbus Blue Jackets

With two wins in six games since the deadline, the Jackets are currently the last team out of the playoffs. It’s fair to say this isn’t what they wanted to see after going extremely aggressive at the deadline. Maybe the chemistry needs to build up, maybe it’s just a rough patch, but failing to make the playoffs isn’t an option for Columbus.

#18 Dallas Stars

Three straight wins this week with just a single goal against, the Stars have done everything they can to stockpile points and, like we mentioned last week, they should keep doing so with a favorable schedule coming up. And if you have Ben Bishop in your fantasy team, you’re probably very happy.

#19 Philadelphia Flyers

A couple of wins pushes the Flyers up a spot in the Rankings, but their playoff hopes are pretty much dead at this point. Carter Hart should be back in the lineup soon after missing time with an ankle injury, giving the fans reason to get excited about the future. Speaking of the future, we hope Gritty’s latest plan comes to fruition.

#20 Arizona Coyotes

Watch out Western Conference! The Yotes are making a push and they’re getting bits and pieces of their roster back along the way. Both Michal Grabner and Jason Demers returned from long-term injuries and the Coyotes are only three points out with a game in hand. After shutting out Calgary last night, this team could be dangerous coming down the stretch.

#21 Edmonton Oilers

An undefeated week for the Oilers could mean their playoff push is for real but even after a great week they still sit seven points back of the last wildcard spot. It’s going to take a really impressive stretch of play to get themselves in the conversation as a legitimate threat but the Super Computer likes their recent play and thinks they could rise in the standings. Regardless of their team standings, Draisaitl has been on fire lately with points in his last 12 games.

#22 Buffalo Sabres

As expected the Sabres dropped in the standings and the Super Computer is convinced they aren’t done. They have three games this coming week all against teams fighting for playoff spots so they’ll be facing some tough tests. The Sabres have the skill to possibly ruin a few teams playoff hopes but we think their own hopes are essentially dead.

#23 Florida Panthers

The Super Computer finally gave up on the Panthers. After weeks and weeks of expecting a late-season charge, it said enough is enough. A winless week including a loss to the Senators and a last-minute collapse to the Bruins causes Florida to be our biggest movers this week as they fall five spots.

#24 New Jersey Devils

The Devils just keep piling up the injuries lately and now only have one player from their top-4 scorers in the lineup. The Super Computer can’t decide what to do with them since it’s unreasonable to judge their play right now with how decimated their lineup is right now. If some of these injuries turn out to be longer term than expected, we wouldn’t be shocked to see the Super Computer kick them down the rankings next week.

#25 New York Rangers

We said last week that we expected to see the Rangers slide down the standings but even with a winless week they don’t move a single spot. The Super Computer decided to give them a bump up closer to their true standings because it looks like there won’t be much movement this low in the standings.

#26 Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks didn’t have the best week but they did knock off the Leafs in overtime. They desperately need Pettersson to find his goal scoring touch again since he hasn’t scored now in nine straight games. Then again a few losses wouldn’t hurt in getting them another high-end prospect at the draft. They have a nice three-game homestand this week, two of which come against teams right near them in the standings. Hopefully, Pettersson has a big night or two so we have some fun highlights to show you next Friday.

#27 Chicago Blackhawks

Another one-win week for the Blackhawks drops them three spots in the standings and the Super Computer is convinced they’ll keep sliding. All three of their games next week come against teams fighting for their position in playoffs so they have a tough road coming up. The Hawks have shown flashes of being good this season but their motivation has to be pretty low at this point.

#28 Anaheim Ducks

A .500 week for the Ducks and they drop a spot in the standings. The Super Computer, on the other hand, likes their play recently and moved them up our rankings. Don’t get your hopes up on this team though. There’s a good chance the Super Computer is just getting fed up with the teams below the Ducks not making any effort to move up.

#29 Detroit Red Wings

#30 Los Angeles Kings

The Kings started off the week with a solid win over the Blackhawks snapping a 10-game losing streak but then only managed one goal over the next two games. The Kings won’t be able to drop below Ottawa but for their sake, they should be hoping to stay in 30th where they’ll have good odds of getting the first overall pick.

#31 Ottawa Senators

If things had gone their way last night the Sens would’ve clinched a non-playoff spot. With the current lineup they’re putting on the ice, there won’t be too many wins left this year for the Sens. If there’s a bright side to their season it’s that it hasn’t been as bad as the 2016-2017 Avalanche. Coincidentally it’s also the Avalanche who have Ottawa’s 1st round pick.